Sweeping Up For May Local News Sweeps
As I'm working on my Sunday A&E story about the competitive local morning TV newscasts, I was surprised that three stations are going into sweeps month (starting today) without their A teams. Particularly when top-rated Channel 12 could be vulnerable, after losing meteorologist Steve Horstmeyer. For most of his 19 years at Channel 12, "Good Morning Cincinnati" was No. 1.
--Channel 12 has replaced Horstmeyer with John Gumm, the personable evening weekend forecaster. But his bosses say the move isn't permanent. News Director Elbert Tucker and General Manager Les Vann say they're still looking at tapes for a fourth forecaster, after which they'll decide if Gumm sticks in the morning. At least they're filling the position. Van says he's still evaluating the budget for this year and next to see if/how they can replace any of the others the station has lost since last fall: Paul Adler, Dayna Eubanks, Sasha Rionda, Richard Jordan, etc.) Without Horstmeyer, John Lomax is the morning TV personality with the longest tenure (since 1990).
--Channel 5 traffic producer Perry Schiable apparently won't be the permanent replacement for traffic reporter Pete Scalia, who quit in March for a morning anchor job at Dayton’s Channel 22. News Director Brennan Donnellan says they're still looking at candidates. I've known Perry since she wrote for our Local News pages four years ago, and she's a great lady, but my guess is that they're looking for someone with an extrovert personality. But can they out-do Channel 12's Bob Herzog?
--Channel 9 is using fill-ins and freelancers to replace morning reporter Becky Freemal through sweeps. However, Lance Barry is the permanent replacement for Lisa Cornwell in the "Breaking News Center,"says Bill Fee, vice president and general manager. Without Horstmeyer, Larry Handley is the morning meteorologist with the longest tenure (since 1999).
--With all these changes, Channel 19 goes into sweeps with the most stable news team. Rob Williams and Sheila Gray have been together longer than any morning anchor team (since 1999), but they have a relatively new morning weatherman in Frank Marzullo(since January).
Channel 12 stayed on top after Cammy Dierking left in 2005. We'llsee what happens in May sweeps, which end May 21. What's your prediction?